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I am finishing up an essay, and my teacher has marked on my essay that there should be a comma before every set of quotation marks.

I had commas where I deemed suitable, but in some instances I find that the use of a comma would make the sentence sound really weird.

For example, sentences in the form of

All morning, Adam "avoided saying anything to Bob that required a form of address", referring to him only as "him", or "the kid".

To me, it sounds weird to have it become

All morning, Adam, "avoided saying anything to Bob that required a form of address", referring to him only as, "him", or, "the kid".

Can someone please explain to me whether I should use commas in places demonstrated above, and the general rule for this?


Edit: I specifically am looking for the answer of whether there should be commas before quotes that are integrated into the sentence, where the quote directly flows from the introductory text.

marked as duplicate by Laurel, aparente001, Robusto, user140086, BladorthinTheGrey Dec 6 '16 at 14:06

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

  • 1
    We have questions about comma usage about once a day. The answer is that they are mostly stylistic, or up to the author or publisher. Your teacher may insist that his/her preference is right. That doesn't make it so. I wouldn't use them before every quotation. You could check other style guides. – Alan Carmack Dec 5 '16 at 23:10
  • I'm not sure whether wars have ever been fought over this point, but definitely a few street rumbles. (But in your example the added quote seems weird.) – Hot Licks Dec 5 '16 at 23:12
  • This question is different from the possible duplicate found by @Laurel. That one was about quotes that come after "saying" or "said." – aparente001 Dec 5 '16 at 23:48
  • @aparente001 There's really two questions here: (1) the general rule (2) in a list. I voted for (1)'s dupe, but I also found a dupe for (2) [here](: english.stackexchange.com/a/114403/191178), which I edited into the comment. My hope is that OP will find all the answers they asked for between the two. – Laurel Dec 5 '16 at 23:56
  • The Oxford Manual of Style is with your teacher in this matter. One problem with your example sentence is that it is hard to know who is being quoted in the first set of quotation marks. They appear to be redundant. Maybe this is what you should discuss with your teacher. – Mick Dec 6 '16 at 0:00

To make your teacher happy, you could do the following to introduce your quote from the text you are analyzing:

All morning, "[Adam] avoided saying anything to Bob that required a form of address," referring to him only as "him," or "the kid."

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